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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

NBN Co rolls on with tower despite concerns

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Holiday letting policy adopted by NSW govt

New state rules on short-term holiday lets (STHL) for NSW, announced late last week, won’t be introduced to the Byron Shire until as late as February next year, as the local housing crisis intensifies.

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Sarah Ndiaye. Photo The Greens
Sarah Ndiaye. Photo The Greens

A dispute over adequate consultation for a proposed fixed-wireless tower in Coorabell is just one of many issues residents face as NBN Co and Visionstream forge ahead in constructing the tower.

An NBN Co spokesperson told The Echo there was adequate public consultation for the proposed tower at 308 Coorabell Road.

Residents say otherwise.

Meanwhile, a motion by Cr Sarah Ndiaye (Greens) will be tabled at this Thursday’s Council meeting, and asks NBN Co, Visionstream and the minister responsible to halt construction until ‘It is proven with certainty that NBN has fully complied with all applicable provisions’ of the industry code.

Cr Ndiaye told The Echo that the NSW Department of Education mandates ‘a 500- metre buffer between towers and schools.’

‘It’s interesting that that same principle does not apply to residents, as it almost validates the idea that they are aware there is some risk associated with the presence of a tower. Apparently construction has started.’

In the Council agenda, Cr Ndiaye says given numerous wireless and phone towers are planned throughout the Shire, this objection highlights ‘a possible lack of understanding relating to the legal obligations of those parties involved’.

The NBN Co consultation report for the project is available at www.rfnsa.com.au/2479008 and says the area was always ‘intended to receive a fixed-wireless service.’

It also predictably plays down concerns of electromagnetic energy (EME) health and safety.

The Echo is yet to receive a reply from local Greens MP Tamara Smith regarding the matter.

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